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UK planners most optimistic in Europe, says American Express M&E

The 2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast finds UK, Belgian and Dutch planners express the most optimism

Pictured: Issa Jouaneh, senior VP and general manager, American Express Meetings & Events

UK planners are the most optimistic in Europe, according to American Express Meetings & Events.

The 2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast found that in Europe, geopolitical uncertainty has led to country-specific variations in industry confidence. The UK, Belgium and the Netherlands express the most optimism across several indicators.

Respondents in the UK and Poland anticipate an increased in the amount of money spent on meetings, while those in other European countries predict decreasing or flat activity in 2018.

With the exception of the UK, European countries expect to spend less on attendees than last year. Cuts in meeting length and optional activities to compensate for rate increases will be sought across all regions. Europe stands out among other regions as countries consistently predict shorter meetings.

The report also forecasts increased confidence and competition on a global scale, with the continued localisation of meetings programmes set to be a key trend next year.

“Following the shifting sentiment in 2017, next year should be more positive around the world in terms of spend, number of meetings and attendees. Meanwhile, meeting owners are prioritising attendee experience and engagement over scale. As a result, we expect to see shorter, more focused meetings,” said Issa Jouaneh, senior VP and general manager, American Express Meetings & Events.

“Economic and geopolitical influences will continue to create uncertainty, but we anticipate ongoing industry resilience and continued focus on successful experiences,” added Jouaneh.

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